Jan Král, courier of the Czechoslovak section of the French intelligence service SDECE Cover Image

Jan Král, kurýr československé sekce při francouzské zpravodajské službě SDECE
Jan Král, courier of the Czechoslovak section of the French intelligence service SDECE

Author(s): Jiří Řezníček
Subject(s): Political history, Recent History (1900 till today), Security and defense, Interwar Period (1920 - 1939), WW II and following years (1940 - 1949), Post-War period (1950 - 1989), History of Communism
Published by: Ústav pro studium totalitních režimů
Keywords: Czechoslovakia; 20th century; security; intelligence; SDECE; French intelligence service; Jan Král; courier; Communism; resistance;
Summary/Abstract: The study deals with intelligence activities of the courier Jan Král, who entered the service of the Czechoslovak section of the French intelligence service Service de Documentation Extérieure et de Contre-Espionnage (External Documentation and Counter-Espionage Service) after emigrating to the West at the turn of February and March 1951. From the summer of 1951, he carried out his intelligence tasks under the code name Karel Košut. His activities comprised of construction of a network of collaborators, transporting messages and acquiring intelligence information about the military, economic and political situation in the CSR. He crossed the state border in South Bohemia in the area of Zvonková – Kyselov – Růžový Vrch (U Korandy). He was dispatched with his tasks by senior officer and exile Josef Němeček from Veselí u Přelouče to Prague, Plzeň and other places. He used Radio Free Europe for his work, through which he sent messages, primarily concerning successful crossings of borders back to West Germany. He was also involved in people smuggling of Czechoslovak citizens to the West. Král mostly operated in the Český Krumlov region, where he was born and where he created a network of collaborators consisting of some of his family and friends. They helped him primarily as liaisons in delivering messages or they provided him with shelter. Král’s arguably most important task was to place a transmitter with a suitable person. He handed it to Josef Krnínský in November 1952. It was supposed to be used during an anticipated armed conflict to send intelligence information from the rear of the communist armies. Upon returning from one of his journeys, Král touched a high voltage wire while getting over a wired barrier and died instantly.

  • Page Range: 131-183
  • Page Count: 53
  • Publication Year: 2014
  • Language: Czech